Pastoral project in Sahel gets $375 million boost from WB

Pastoralists and agropastoralists in the Sahel will benefit from a 375 million dollar funding, or nearly 210 billion CFA francs,…

Pastoralists and agropastoralists in the Sahel will benefit from a 375 million dollar funding, or nearly 210 billion CFA francs, from the World Bank to improve their activities.Efforts to strengthen the productivity and resilience of pastoral systems in the Sahel will benefit from a new $375 million financing from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA). It was approved on Tuesday 30 March by the Board of Executive Directors to support the deployment of phase 2 of the Regional Pastoralism Support Project in the Sahel (PRAPS-2).


“Pastoral systems are real engines of growth and provide a living for more than 20 million people in the Sahel. The new phase of the project, which involves Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Chad, will improve the resilience of pastoralists and agropastoralists in targeted areas,” the Breton Wood institution said Wednesday in a statement.


It stressed that the number of direct beneficiaries of PRAPS-2 should amount to about 13 million people, including young people, of which at least 30 percent are women.


The first phase of PRAPS, launched in 2015, benefited no less than 2.2 million people living mainly from nomadic livestock. According to the bank, it had, among other things, allowed the construction of more than 65 livestock markets, 12 slaughterhouses and nearly 300 vaccination pens.


Building on the success of the first phase of the project, PRAPS-2 will continue to invest in strengthening animal health systems, improving access to and governance of natural resources (including through the creation of new grazing areas and water points). It will also promote peaceful local and transnational movements along transhumance routes and increase incomes. In addition, it will strengthen the sector’s governance capacity in national and regional institutions and among key stakeholders.


According to the World Bank, restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have affected pastoral activities, leading to a sharp increase in livestock prices while penalizing herders through market closures and movement restrictions. Thus, the new project will contribute to targeted responses to these challenges: improving livestock value chains, facilitating livestock trade, supporting regional market integration and further developing strategic market infrastructure along trade routes.


“The socio-economic inclusion of women and youth in all development programmes for the Sahel region is crucial. The PRAPS-2 project will contribute to this by strengthening interventions for vulnerable women and youth in pastoralist households, improving their access to training, including functional, digital and financial literacy, and strengthening their business skills,” said Soukeyna Kane, World Bank Operations Director for Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Chad.


In addition, the WB said PRAPS-2 will work with regional institutions to help integrate policies, harmonise regulations and strengthen coordination between countries to enable pastoralism to contribute fully to poverty reduction in the Sahel countries.